Washougal parking enforcement to increase

Code enforcement officer can write tickets

"The parking issue is just that there isn't enough."

-- Deborah Kirkendall, glo Beauty Lounge

“The parking issue is just that there isn’t enough.”

— Deborah Kirkendall, glo Beauty Lounge

People who park for more than two hours in designated areas of downtown Washougal will want to pay attention to the time that they arrive.

The Washougal City Council has amended a municipal code, that allows the police chief to bestow limited commission upon city staff other than law enforcement officers.

This allows Code Enforcement Officer Sherry Montgomery to issue non-driving traffic infractions and concentrate on enforcement of the two-hour parking limitation in the downtown core area.

The purpose, according to information distributed to the council, is to increase possible clientele and revenue of downtown businesses.

“It is an effort to allow me to assist officers during the day,” Montgomery said.

She usually deals with abandoned and/or inoperable vehicles parked on city streets.

Montgomery, a code enforcement officer with Washougal since 2006, hopes to educate the public about the two-hour parking limitation that exists on some of the downtown roadways.

A parking ticket, $38, is payable at the Camas-Washougal Municipal Court building.

Citywide, vehicles cannot be parked on a street in the same location for more than 24 hours.

“The public streets are not for storage,” Montgomery said. “We want to keep the city looking nice.

“The street sweeper keeps debris out of streams and rivers,” she added.

A parking garage, located in the Washougal Town Square, is for customers and tenants of the building.

Montgomery said parking is available on the South side of “A” Street, from 17th to 22nd streets.

Deborah Kirkendall, owner of glo Beauty Lounge, at 1887 Main St., Ste. “A,” said she does not think anyone is parking for more than two hours in downtown Washougal.

“The parking issue is just that there isn’t enough,” she said. “People have been spoiled by being able to just pull up and find a spot.

“With two restaurants, a retail store and a spa, we draw a fair amount of traffic,” Kirkendall added. “I don’t think monitoring is an issue yet.”

Alex Yost, co-owner of OurBar, at 1887 Main St., Ste. “E,” said she and Kevin Credelle believe that overall the city enforcement of parking will be a good thing.

“However, the city needs to re-evaluate the current hourly parking signage and ensure that it reflects the changes and growth in downtown Washougal,” Yost said. “The city needs to study the flow of traffic in downtown Washougal. Many new businesses have moved into town since the signage has been posted, and the parking time restrictions should reflect that.

“As Washougal continues to grow and we see more people in downtown supporting local businesses, the city will need to stay current with the changing landscape,” she added. “Without any experience in city planning, we would defer to the city to decide the time limitations. As business owners, our main goal is to ensure that our community is able to thrive and grow.”

Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell said officers have issued parking tickets, primarily in the Lookout Ridge area.

“Most of the parking tickets are the result of a complaint,” he said.

Mitchell said the issue in that area is “too many cars and not enough places to park.”